“None of us would be here if we only thought about our reasons. We’re helping you because you need it. Because at one point we’ve all needed help and we had each other for that. Now it’s our turn to help you.”
4/5 paper planes
What’s This Book About?
Genre: YA dystopian fantasy
Publication: 1 Sep 2020
Pages: 272 (paperback)
Synopsis: Supporting Sorcerers is a crime. Using magic, a death sentence.
When she unwittingly saves a Sorcerer’s life, Anja Scravers, a talented young hacker, is forced to acknowledge magic exists. The gift he gives her might be the only thing that can save her brother Rufus.
Fighting against a world that hates anything it can’t control, Anja must rely on herself, her friends and the Sorcerer’s gift to succeed.
Can she pay the price needed to save Rufus, and if not, what will she sacrifice to get her revenge?
Content warnings: gun and physical violence, injury and death; panic attacks; loss of a loved one; mild gore; some swearing
What I Thought:
A bingeable and gritty blend of sci-fi, dystopian and fantasy awaits in this indie debut. (And by a teen author, no less!)
My favourite thing about ‘One Wish, One Choice’ is its heartwarming found-family dynamic, a convention that I’ve really come to love. There were some great jokes and banter between this diverse band of misfits, and even the grumpy and prickly Faye Jiang grew on me – she’s now my favourite character!
Faye gave them her best ‘inspirational’ speech.There was a wide range of personalities and identities amongst the characters. I liked that while Anja’s friend Willow’s disability is known from the beginning, that’s not her defining feature and it wasn’t made into a plot point, and neither were Anja’s panic attacks.
‘If you mess up, I will use my lockpicks to pull your brain out through your nose.’
Rufus raised his hand. ‘Good to know, but what if we don’t have a brain?’
Faye didn’t bother replying.
I also loved the sibling bond between the protagonist Anja and her younger brother Rufus! They were orphaned after a terrorist attack on the President took out the Scravers parents as collateral damage, and the way they fiercely care for and protect each other – but also tease each other to death – is really wonderful to read. Because of how strong and organic the friendships and family ties were, the romance felt a bit unnecessary but it wasn’t too distracting.
There were also several great plot twists – I did harbour some suspicions, but there were some incredibly tense scenes that took very unexpected turns. Everything felt quite refreshingly original – I was never bored nor did I feel like I’d read this book before. I would like to learn more about this dystopian world beyond the cities this story is set in (is this like an alternate Earth? Asia definitely exists here) as I don’t feel like I have a solid grasp of what the wider world is like.
The end (nice twist!) sets up for a possible sequel, so I look forward to seeing more of this dystopian setting and what happens next with Anja and co.!
Thank you to the author for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.